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Pet Euthanasia at Home: Knowing When It's Time and What to Expect

One of the most beautiful parts of having a pet is the human-animal bond that develops. For many people, a pet becomes part of their family, much like a human child. For anyone who has pushed their dog or cat down the sidewalk in a stroller, let their pet sleep in their bed (or even under the covers), stayed up late with their pet after a surgery or when that pet is feeling sick, then your relationship is on the level of family. 
It is understood, although not often acknowledged, that the heartbreaking part of having a pet, is that their lives are so much shorter than ours. When a pet is brought into the home, they weave themselves into the fabric of your life and often will pass away before their human family counterparts. End of life care is a shared experience for all pet owners. Although all pets will transition away from this world in different ways, many pet owners will have to witness a decline in quality of life. They will have to make a difficult decision about choosing euthanasia for their pet.  
To anyone going through a decision on euthanasia or witnessing their pet struggle with waning quality of life, I send my love and comfort your way. You do not have to go through this process alone. 

During this difficult time, you'll need to consider these end-of-life options for your pet:

  • Let your pet pass away naturally when it is time. Stay in close communication with your veterinarian for guidance to avoid prolonging serious pain or suffering of your pet.

  • Try to extend your pet’s life length as much as possible – this strategy often results in emergency veterinary visits (inevitably in the middle of the night) to euthanize.

  • Maximize your pet’s quality of life and then strategically choosing the time of euthanasia while your pet still has dignity (for example, some dogs know that they shouldn’t potty inside, but are too weak to hold it).

There are many reasons why I believe you should consider at-home or in-home pet euthanasia. This article will examine the concepts of quality of life and euthanasia, why euthanasia is performed in pets, the process of having a pet euthanized at home, and what to expect.

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Topics: Dogs, Pain, Euthanasia

Is Your Dog Quiet...Maybe Bored?

Is your dog reserved? The reason could be one of these three things 

“My dog is more quiet than usual?” “He’s more reserved.” “He just seems bored.” These are all fairly common questions, concerns, and statements from dog owners during veterinary visits.  

But is it always boredom or “getting older” that causes a dog to be more reserved, quiet, or to slow down?

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Health, Environmental Enrichment, Pain, Dog Stress, Feeding Bowls, Dog-friendly products, Dog toys

How to Help An Older Dog with Arthritis and Other Mobility Problems

Arthritis and Dogs: A Common and Treatable Problem

Our dogs are living longer these days, which is unequivocally great! With advancing years though it’s common to see a host of medical and cognitive problems develop in aging dogs. One of the big ones, and one which can often be the easiest (yes, that’s right, I said “easiest”) to deal with is when dogs start to have problems getting up and getting around.

Fortunately, helping your aging, arthritic dog with such mobility issues doesn’t mean you have to remodel your house or move to a single-story rancher. Helping them and improving their quality of life also needn’t be backbreaking (or bank-breaking) for you, and it isn’t even all about medications! There's lots of simple, inexpensive, and effective things you can get and do to improve your aging, arthritic dog's mobility.

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Topics: Dog Health, Dogs, medication, Pain, Arthritis in dogs, Dog-friendly products, Mobility, Aging

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.